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Library Services FAQs: Home

Key information about using University of Southampton Libraries

Opening hours

Please see our opening hours page to check information for all our libraries.

  • From 24 February 2022 the University of Southampton encourages the wearing of face coverings especially in crowded and enclosed spaces.
  • We are keeping the windows open for ventilation, so it might be chillier than usual at your study space. 
  • You are welcome to bring water bottles to your study space at Winchester School of Art Library, and hot and cold covered drinks to your study space at our other libraries. You may also eat cold food at your study space in Hartley and the Health Services Library. 
  • Please contact us at or using our live chat if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

You are welcome to visit our libraries without needing to prebook. Please remember to bring your University card for swipe entry. Please check our opening hours as they may vary.

The University of Southampton encourages the wearing of face coverings especially in crowded and enclosed spaces.

Please contact with any questions.

From 18 August 2021, visitors over 18 are welcome to use our libraries for study space or to browse the shelves without needing to prebook. Please bring photo ID to show at the library helpdesk. If you are under 18 and would like to visit one of our libraries, please contact with your enquiry.

Our computer workstations are only available to University staff and students, but you can connect your own device to the free WiFi Guest service. Visitors wishing to make photocopies of items can do so by clicking Register as a New Guest User, then login to any of the photocopiers (multi-functional devices) in the library. Library staff will be happy to help you if you need assistance. Printing is not available to visitors.

The SCONUL Access scheme reopened on Monday 15 November 2021. Find out more on the SCONUL Access website.

You are welcome to bring water bottles to your study space at Winchester School of Art Library, and hot and cold covered drinks to your study space at our other libraries. You may also eat cold food at your study space in Hartley and the Health Services Library.

The water bottle fillers on each level at Hartley Library are in use.


Requesting books held in Library stock

You can request books that are available in the libraries, or on loan to other users, via the Place Hold option in WebCat: login to WebCat, and search for the book you need. If there is a list of results, select the record for the appropriate book and click Place Hold (on the left of the screen).

We will let you know by email when your book(s) are ready and you can collect them when the library is open. You must receive the confirmation email before you come to collect your books. Books must be collected within 7 days of the confirmation email being received. Please bring your University ID card to issue the books on the self-issue machines.

Postal loans

You can also request books to be sent to you via our postal loans service.

Requesting a digitised chapter or book extract

You can request a digitised chapter for your personal use using our document supply service.

Use our interlibrary loan service to request books, journal articles or other material that we do not have in our collections. Please email to make book purchase suggestions.

Find out more about borrowing books on our Loans & Borrowing guide.

You can return books to any of our libraries when they are open, and to the Hartley letterbox at any time.

If you are in the UK you can use our free postal returns service.

Your Subject Guide lists key resources, including databases to search for journal articles and WebCat, our library catalogue.

Our PressReader subscription gives you access to over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from the UK and around the world.

See our Using your online Library webpages.

The university uses the Eduroam wifi.

The computer workstation rooms in Hartley are not currently available.

PCs are available at each library site and many of the study spaces in the libraries have power sockets for you to charge laptops.

Students can borrow a laptop for up to one week from the self-service Laptop Lockers in Hartley Library (Levels 2 and 4) and HSL. More details are available on the Library Laptop Loans webpage.

Printers (also known as Multi-Functional Devices, MFDs as they also scan and photocopy) are available in the Hartley Library and Health Services Library. We have an easy access MFD in the Hartley Library foyer that you can use to print (black & white or colour). You can print from the PC next to the MFD or from your own device.

For more information on printing, including adding money to your account and the location of other MFDs on Highfield campus, please see the iSolutions printing for students page.

IT help is available from the iSolutions Serviceline team and the IT Helpdesk in the Hartley Library 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday.

Enabling Services provide support for students with disabilities, mental health conditions or specific learning difficulties.

The Assistive Technology (AT) Suite is the main area for assistive technology facilities within the University. It is located at Highfield Campus in Hartley Library (Level 2, Room 2047) and is available during normal library opening hours. Please contact Enabling Services to find out more.

Please contact if you have any questions on accessing the library or library resources.

You will find support and advice on our Academic Skills pages covering useful study skills such as: critical thinking, academic integrity (referencing and avoiding plagiarism), information management, presentation skills, exam technique and research skills.

You can also book appointments for writing support and general academic skills support.

The Archives and Rare Books searchroom service is now open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600.

All visits are by prior appointment and all visitors will be required to book their visit and to order their material at least 3 working days in advance.

You can book a standard booking for 1 day, for which there is a limit of 10 items. For bookings of 2 or more concurrent days then the limit is 15 items per day.

Bookings are made by emailing providing details of name, University ID number (members of the University of Southampton only), permanent residential address and contact details, date of visit and list of items to be consulted.